Sales: Thank You Edition

Jimmy Fallon’s late night show has a Friday feature where he thanks various people and explains why. So on behalf of MusicRow and record label stakeholders everywhere, we’d like to extend the tradition to this week’s column. So let me say…

“Thank You,” Valentines Day. “You bring so much heart to the SoundScan chart by reminding people to give gifts. After chocolate, flowers and jewelry, music is high on the list.

“Thank You,” Grammy Awards. For the last three years you have highlighted Nashville’s musical contributions resulting in nice ‘week after’ numbers. (PS: You didn’t deserve that ‘sore loser’ letter earlier this week.)

Yes, this week’s SoundScan report was heavily influenced by the Grammy telecast (2/13) and the holiday of hearts. Country album sales climbed 10% over the previous week, all-genre sales jumped 12%. But it can all be summed up in three words, “Need You Now.”

Lady Antebellum’s TV trophy romp resulted in the album and single of that name rising to No. 1 on the Current Country Albums (85k) and Country Digital Singles charts (105k) respectively. The album has now sold almost 3.3 million units and the single almost 4.8 million. Taylor Swift is the trio’s only competition for  totals this lofty on the country charts. Swift’s “Love Story,” leads Lady A slightly with over 4.9 million downloads and her Speak Now album trails by about 100k units.

Lost Highway’s Hayes Carll debuts in the No. 12 position on the country chart with sales over 10k of his album Kmag Yoyo. Chris Young’s “Tomorrow” crashes into the digital download chart in the No. 8 position downloading over 30k tracks. By way of comparison, Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” performed on the Grammy show debuted with over 508,000 downloads!

Some careful number crunching shows that YTD country digital album sales as a percentage of total country album sales now total 20.3% (33% all genre). Last year the number  for this period was 15.3%. In line with that number, digital country album sales are up 16.35% this year which shows that country consumers are continuing to catch up to all genre consumers which download more and purchase physical product less—but still have a way to go.

“Thank You SoundScan,” for helping us to track industry sales.

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About the Author

David M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. [email protected]

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